Archives: Corporate Excise Tax

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Massachusetts SJC Reaffirms Decision Sourcing 100% of Taxpayer’s Loans to Massachusetts — Confirms Opportunity for Out-of-State Financial Institutions

On Friday, August 12, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the “SJC”) reaffirmed its decision in First Marblehead—that a financial institution that is commercially domiciled in Massachusetts can be required to source 100% of its loans to Massachusetts for purposes of computing its property factor numerator.  See The First Marblehead Corp. v. Commissioner, Supreme Judicial Court … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Net Worth “True Debt” Litigation Moves Forward—Oral Argument Held, Awaiting Decision

With oral argument and briefing complete, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s authority to increase the net worth component of a taxpayer’s corporate excise using its “true debt” analysis is under review by the Appeals Court in National Grid Holdings, Inc. et. al. v. Commissioner.  The appeal should be of particular interest to taxpayers because, in … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Decision in First Marblehead; Remands to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

On October 13, the United States Supreme Court granted a request for review in the case of First Marblehead Corporation v. Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue, and summarily vacated the decision issued January 28, 2015, by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The case has been remanded to the Supreme Judicial Court for further consideration in … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Denies ‘True Debt’ Treatment for Cash Management Obligations

The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”) has once again issued a Findings of Fact and Report upholding a Department assessment on the basis that a taxpayer’s intercompany obligations under a cash management system were not bona fide debt.  The most recent decision, issued September 4, 2015, is Staples, Inc. and Staples Contract and Commercial, Inc. … Continue Reading

Report from the Boston Bar Association Annual Tax Conference

The Boston Bar Association held its annual tax conference this past Thursday, and as always the BBA pulled together a great lineup of practitioners, legislators, and Department of Revenue officials to discuss the latest in Massachusetts state tax.  The event was broken into four sections; one each on tax policy, litigation, and administrative updates, as … Continue Reading

Appellate Tax Board Case Update: MassMutual Proves Intercompany Debt is True Debt

Today, the Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”) released its Findings of Fact and Report in the related cases of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and MassMutual Holding LLC v. Commissioner and MML Investor Services, Inc. v. Commissioner, in which the ATB held that intercompany debt between MassMutual and its affiliates was true debt. As true debt, … Continue Reading

First Marblehead Requests U.S. Supreme Court Review In SINAA Sourcing Appeal

In a case of interest for any taxpayer with substantial securitization activities, First Marblehead Corporation and Gate Holdings, Inc. have requested United State Supreme Court review of a recent determination of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), by way of this petition. The petition for review can be found here. The case involves the sourcing … Continue Reading

The Commissioner of Revenue’s Use of the Sham Transaction Doctrine Examined in Tax Analysts Column

In the most recent edition of “The Taxpayers’ Advocate”, a quarterly column published by Tax Analysts focusing on taxpayers’ rights in state and local tax, Michael A. Jacobs, Robert E. Weyman, Brent Beissel, and Jack Trachtenberg of Reed Smith LLP discuss the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue’s use of the sham transaction doctrine.  The column, titled … Continue Reading

Department of Revenue releases detailed guidance for corporate excise tax amnesty program

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue released TIR 15-2 specifying the administrative details of the amnesty program authorized by the legislature earlier this year. The amnesty period is open now through May 15, 2015, for eligible taxpayers who owe corporate excise taxes (business corporations, as well as financial institutions, and insurance companies); estate taxes; fiduciary income taxes; … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Enacts Corporate Tax Amnesty to Occur Before June 30, 2015

On Friday, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation, which is intended to close the budget deficit for the 2015 fiscal year. The full text of the legislation (House Bill 52) is available at the following link. In addition to some spending cuts aimed to cure the budget shortfall, the bill authorizes a corporate tax amnesty program, … Continue Reading

A Quick Overview of Substantive Changes in Final Massachusetts Market Sourcing Regulation 830 CMR 63.38.1—From 10/30/14 Draft to Final

As we reported on Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has promulgated its final regulations governing the apportionment of income (830 CMR 63.38.1).  The regulations implement legislation that mandates market-based sourcing and a throwout rule for sales other than sales of tangible personal property, effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Promulgates Final Market Sourcing Regulation

This afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue promulgated its Final Regulation 830 CMR 63.38.1: Apportionment of Income, to implement the market-based sourcing rules which took effect for tax years beginning after January 1, 2014.  The final regulation can be found here: Final Market Sourcing Regulations. The Final Regulation follows a Working Draft of the same regulation which was released by … Continue Reading

Associated Industries of Massachusetts Comments on Proposed Market Sourcing Regulations

On December 4, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) submitted written comments to the Department of Revenue regarding the Department’s proposed market sourcing regulations.  The proposed regulations govern the sourcing of receipts from sales of services and intangibles.  In its comments, AIM rightly objected to provisions that prevent taxpayers from adjusting their sourcing methods through … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Market Sourcing Update: Report from Public Hearing on Market Sourcing and Special Industry Apportionment Regulations

Today, the Department of Revenue held a hearing for the public to present comment regarding the Department’s proposed market sourcing regulation.  In addition, the proposed special industry apportionment regulations for Airline Corporations, Motor Carriers, and Courier and Package Delivery Services; and the proposed corporate nexus regulation were also addressed at today’s hearing.  The proposed regulations were … Continue Reading

ATB Finds Genentech is Subject to Massachusetts Tax; Offers Guidance on P.L. 86-272

This post is part of a series of posts discussing key issues in the Appellate Tax Board’s recent decision in Genentech, Inc. v. Commissioner.  We previously reported on this decision in our prior post. In Genentech, Inc. v. Commissioner, the Appellate Tax Board held that the Massachusetts activities of a biotechnology company were not protected … Continue Reading

ATB Upholds Single-Factor Apportionment for Manufacturer

On November 17, 2014, the Appellate Tax Board released its Findings of Fact and Report in Genentech v. Commissioner which held that a pharmaceutical company qualified as a “manufacturer” under Massachusetts law, and was required to apportion its corporate excise tax base using the single sales factor formula for manufacturing corporations, instead of the three … Continue Reading

Public Hearing on Proposed Regulations Set for December 4

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will hold its public hearing to discuss the proposed market sourcing regulation on December 4, 2014.  In addition, the proposed special industry apportionment regulations for Airline Corporations, Motor Carriers, and Courier and Package Delivery Services; and the proposed corporate nexus regulation are also scheduled to be heard as part of the … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Releases Second Draft of Market Sourcing Regulations

This afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue released its Proposed Regulation 830 CMR 63.38.1: Apportionment of Income, to implement the market-based sourcing rules which took effect for tax years beginning after January 1, 2014.  Here is the proposed market sourcing regulation. The Proposed Regulation follows a Working Draft of the same regulation which was released by the … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Audits and Appeals Update—Transfer Pricing and Embedded Royalties

From time to time, we’ll be using this space to discuss recurring Massachusetts state tax issues were seeing at audit and on appeal.  In the first in this series, we’ll focus on transfer pricing adjustments. Over the past few years, the Department’s auditors have aggressively attacked intercompany payments between affiliated entities—especially for tax years prior … Continue Reading

Commonwealth Faces Tough Questions from Appeals Court Justices In Sham Transaction Case

As we previously reported, last year the Appellate Tax Board issued a decision expanding the application of the sham transaction doctrine to transactions intended to transfer Massachusetts payroll and property to a corporation that otherwise lacked nexus with Massachusetts.  The case, Allied Domecq Spirits and Wines USA, Inc. v. Commissioner, Mass. App. Ct. Dckt No. 2013-P-0984, … Continue Reading

Department Extends Comment Period for Proposed Market Sourcing Regulations

The Department of Revenue announced Wednesday that the period for commenting on the proposed market-based sourcing regulations has been extended from May 1 to May 19, 2014.  At the teleseminar held on April 10, Reed Smith discussed several provisions in the proposed regulations worthy of comments.  To view our slide deck from the teleseminar or … Continue Reading

Corporate members of LLC can qualify as mutual fund service corporations

On March 13, 2014, the Department issued Letter Ruling 14-2, which ruled that the members of an LLC—four S Corporations—qualified as mutual fund services corporations because the income passed through from the LLC to its members qualified as income from mutual fund services. The LLC was treated as a partnership for federal and Massachusetts tax … Continue Reading

Reed Smith Comments on the Draft Market-Based Souring Regulations

Tax Analysts published an article (subscription required) today which included some commentary from Reed Smith’s Mike Jacobs and Robert Weyman on the new Market-based sourcing regulations.  The article, written by Jennifer DePaul, includes the initial reaction of practitioners to the draft regulations which were released March 25.  Reed Smith will expand on and clarify its … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Releases Proposed Market Sourcing and Throwout Regulations, What Does it Mean for You?

On July 24, 2013, the Massachusetts Legislature replaced the cost of performance sourcing regime with a market-based sourcing rule for all tax years starting on or after January 1, 2014. The same law also added a throwout rule.  Today, the Department released their proposed regulations to implement the market sourcing and throwout rules. Reed Smith … Continue Reading
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